Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida coach Jim McElwain: Tampa Bay area key for Gators

UF coach Jim McElwain signed four bay area players last year after none in 2016.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

UF coach Jim McElwain signed four bay area players last year after none in 2016.

CLEARWATER — Before speaking to the Pinellas County Gator Club on Thursday night, Florida football coach Jim McElwain had a Q&A session with reporters. Three quick hits:

1. The Malik Zaire rumors are swirling but not in the quarterback room. If the SEC changes its graduate transfer policy in two weeks at its spring meetings , the Gators could be in the mix to land Zaire, a former quarterback at Notre Dame. He would be eligible immediately and expected to battle Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Luke Del Rio for the starting job. McElwain said his quarterbacks haven't asked him about Zaire or the speculation. "And yet everybody on our team knows we're going to continue to do whatever we can to get good players in here, at whatever positions they are," McElwain said. "Here's the beauty of it: When you've got competition at positions, then you've got a pretty good team."

2. McElwain said he was glad to be back in the Tampa Bay area, not only because of what happened in his last public trip here (Florida's 30-3 victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl in January) but because of the local strides he has made in recruiting. After signing no bay area players in 2016, the Gators landed four in February (Tampa Bay Tech wide receiver Daquon Green, Jesuit running back Malik Davis, Hillsborough defensive end Zachary Carter and Clearwater running back Adarius Lemons). "We've got to continue that," McElwain said. "There's a lot of Gators down here. Obviously, this means a lot to us."

3. Green, a four-star recruit that Florida targeted early after one of its camps, orally committed to the Gators in July 2015 and remained that way for more than a year and a half. "The thing I like is, he stayed committed," McElwain said. "Everybody came pounding here. He's a guy that stayed true. Those are the kind of guys you want on your team."

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Florida coach Jim McElwain: Tampa Bay area key for Gators 05/18/17 [Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sorry, Nebraska, Scott Frost appears interested in staying at UCF

    College
    Scott Frost has UCF undefeated with an important game at Navy next. [Getty Images]
  2. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season

    Parimutuels

    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  3. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  4. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.